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Obituaries: Bennett, Walker, Freese

James Anthony Bennett

James Anthony Bennett: 1970 – 2022

James Anthony Bennett of Casper died at his home on August 9, 2022.

He was born in Lawton, Oklahoma, to Beverly and James Bennett. James graduated from Kelly Walsh in 1988. James married Wendy on April 13, 1994.

They share three children together: Johnathan, Alexander, and Amber. They also have three grandchildren: Daniel, Anthony, and Elias.

James enjoyed reading, doing research, and discussing books. He also enjoyed video games and game night with friends. He also enjoyed watching YouTube videos and collecting swords.

James had been a regular bus driver for the Natrona County School District since 2015, making sure that the students arrived to and from school safely. During the summer months, he drove the bus for the Boys and Girls Club for their activities.

Services will be held at Newcomer Funeral Home at 1 p.m. on Thursday, August 18, 2022. A reception and honk-off will be held at the bus hub following the service.

Eleanore S. Walker

Eleanore S. Walker: November 29, 1923 – August 8, 2022

Eleanore (Spencer) Walker passed away Monday, August 8, 2022, in Casper, Wyoming, at the age of 98.

Eleanore was born November 29, 1923, in Denver, Colorado, to William Austin Spencer III and Maymelle McCabe Spencer. She grew up in Denver and attended Colorado College in Colorado Springs, graduating in only two and a half years. She was a proud member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.  

Eleanore met her future husband, Second Lieutenant Thaddeus (Thad) H. Walker, at a sorority social he attended while completing bomber pilot training at the air base in Colorado Springs. They were married in August 1945 upon his return from combat in the WWII European Theater. The newlyweds settled in Casper, where Thad took over the management of Walker Lumber Company, established by his father. Soon their family grew to include three children.

Once her children were mostly grown, Eleanore pursued her interest in childhood education, earning a master’s degree in elementary and special education from the University of Wyoming. Until retirement she taught grade-school classes in the Natrona County School District, taking a keen interest in her students — especially those in difficult circumstances — always challenging them to do their best. 

Eleanore was fiercely independent, well-read, and fully engaged in current events. She was a pioneer backpacker — often hauling a cast-iron skillet to prepare meals over a campfire — as well as an accomplished skier. She loved animals of every ilk, especially her Labradors, whom she trained for field trials and hunting. (One of her famous quotes was, “Puppies are so much smarter and cuter than children.”) Always physically active, Eleanore was a neighborhood fixture, walking her dog through rain, snow, wind and shine well into her nineties; and was undaunted by being outweighed by her canine companion. Until the end she maintained her sharp sense of humor and gruff, unique laugh. These were qualities particularly appreciated by staff and residents during her time at Mountain Plaza Assisted Living and the Life Care Center.

Eleanore was a member of St. Marks Episcopal Church and found great solace volunteering her time for church-related activities and studying the Bible. At 80 years old she embarked upon a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, joining a pilgrimage to Israel with fellow church members.

Eleanore is survived by her three children Ivy (Gary) Parish of Silverthorne, CO and Cameron and Drew (Heidi) Walker of Casper; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and Mixer, her four-footed friend and constant companion through the last years of her life. She was predeceased by her husband, her brother, almost all of her contemporaries, and a host of beloved horses, dogs, and critters.

A memorial and celebration of life will be held at Bustard’s Funeral Home in Casper on September 9, 2022, at 10 a.m. A private interment will follow.

The family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Casper Humane Society or to any other animal rescue, assistance, or support facility of the donor’s choice.

Arrangements are entrusted to Bustard & Jacoby Funeral Home, 600 CY Ave., Casper, WY 82601.

Lynda Dianne Freese: 1948 – 2022

Lynda “Lyn” D. Freese, age 74, passed away August 8, 2022, in Casper, Wyoming, where she lived her entire life.

She was born to the late George and Jonita (Trout) Heine in 1948. Lyn attended Natrona County High School and graduated from the Beauty School of Fashion, where she excelled and joined the faculty as a cosmetology instructor. Lyn was a longtime active member of the Wyoming State Board of Cosmetology, from which she retired as the Executive Director.

Lyn married Ron Skurok and had a daughter, Shannon. They later divorced. She married W.A. Freese, and they later divorced.

For many years Lyn enjoyed spending time on her boat at Alcova Lake with friends and family. She liked to travel and loved her weekend trips with “The Girls,” spending time with her family, and working on “projects” around her house. Lyn enjoyed Casper and Wyoming history, and was a longtime volunteer at the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum.

Lyn was preceded in death by her dad George, stepmom Pearl, mom Jonita Evans, brother Rodney, and maternal and paternal grandparents.

Lyn is survived by her daughter Shannon (Jon) Myron, grandsons Ryan and Jacob, great-grandsons Bryce and Quentin, niece Mona, nephew Matthew, cousins, and extended family.

Lyn was iconic in many people’s lives. She was classy, sassy, and bold. A trendsetter. She will be greatly missed and is loved by so many — all of who are wishing we had more time with our Lyn.

Memorial contributions can be made in Lynda Freese’s name to Central Wyoming Hospice or the Wyoming Veterans Memorial Museum.

Arrangements are under the direction of Newcomer Casper Chapel.

Service: Monday, August 15, 2022, at 2 p.m.
Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions
710 E. 2nd St.
Casper, WY 82601
Directions & Map

Reception: The Hangar Bar & Grill, 1410 Prairie Lane, Bar Nunn, WY 82601

Interment: Highland Cemetery
1860 E. 12th St., Casper, WY 82601